Poll: Trump Holds Majority of Republican Support, Leads Primary Field by 43 Points

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

A majority of Republican primary voters want to see former President Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, as he sits 43 points ahead of his nearest competitor, according to a poll published Thursday. 

The Fairleigh Dickenson University (FDU) poll shows that 58 percent of likely Republican primary voters support Trump. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who has seen a dramatic dip in polling in recent months, is the only other candidate to land in double digits, with 15 percent support. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence and former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), both of whom have been critical of Trump, tie at five percent, while former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy each draw three percent of the vote. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) takes another two percent, followed by Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) at one percent. 

No other candidate received more than one percent support. 

“Right now, visibility is the name of the game in the Republican primary. Candidates can’t break out unless they can get media coverage, and Trump is sucking all of the air out of the room,” Fred Cassino, a professor of Government and Politics at FDU, and the director of the poll, said in a release. “Criticisms of Trump have gotten Christie and Pence a lifeline, but so far, it’s not enough.”

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Trump has been indicted three times since launching his candidacy, and the poll asks for the public’s perception of two of them: the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s highly criticized case, which alleges 34 counts of business fraud, and the Department of Justice’s case alleging Trump mishandled classified documents after his presidency. 

Only 17 percent believe the indictments are “legitimate” versus 75 percent who see them as “illegitimate.” Among Trump supporters, a plurality of 49 percent say they would not consider backing another candidate for the nomination, while 48 percent would give thought to someone else.

FDU sampled 806 Republican voters from July 31-August 7. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. 


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